Category: News

Faculty Candidate Leo Ureel to Present Lecture March 24

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Leo C. Ureel II on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. The title of Ureel’s lecture is, “Critiquing Student Code by Identifying Novice Anti-patterns.”

Join the online Zoom meeting here.

Ureel is a senior lecturer and PhD candidate in the Computer Science department at Michigan Tech. He has been teaching at the college level for 10 years, and he has over 20 years of industry experience in developing software for engineering, artificial intelligence, and education.

Ureel’s research focuses on a constructionist approach to introductory computer science that leverages code critiquers to motivate students to learn computer programming, with less cognitive overhead than is usually associated with learning programming and computation. In particular, he is developing critiques tools designed to provide students with feedback on programming assignments in ways that are similar to human instructors. Critiquer systems can be used to engage students in test-driven agile development methods through small cycles of teaching, coding integrated with testing, and immediate feedback.

Ureel’s work has provided him the opportunity to develop rich collaborations with researchers across the U.S. and in the U.K., Europe, and Africa, and he recently led an ITICSE working group of international researchers. Ureel teaches CS1 and CS2 courses, primarily to first year students, in which he works to broaden students’ views of computing, ground them in a programming language, and teach them problem solving skills. His research has has been supported by NSF, Google, and NCWIT.

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Faculty Candidate Vidhya Nagaraju to Present Lecture March 20

The College of Computing invites the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Vidhyashree Nagaraju on Friday, March 20, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. The title of Nagaraju’s talk is “Software Reliability Engineering: Algorithms and Tools.”

The lecture will be presented online through a Zoom meeting. Link to the meeting here.

Vidhyashree Nagaraju is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD), where she received a M.S. in Computer Engineering in 2015. She received a B.E. in electronics and communication engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, India, in 2011.

While there are many software reliability models, there are relatively few tools to automatically apply these models. Moreover, these tools are over two decades old and are difficult or impossible to configure on modern operating systems, even with a virtual machine. To overcome this technology gap, Nagaraju is developing an open source software reliability tool for the software and system engineering community. 

A key challenge posed by such a project is the stability of the underlying model fitting algorithms, which must ensure that the parameter estimates of a model are indeed those that best characterize the data. If such model fitting is not achieved, users who lack knowledge of the underlying mathematics may inadvertently use inaccurate predictions. This is potentially dangerous if the model underestimates important measures such as the number of faults remaining or overestimates the mean time to failure (MTTF).

To improve the robustness of the model fitting process, expectation conditional maximization (ECM) algorithms have been developed to compute the maximum likelihood estimates of nonhomogeneous Poisson process (NHPP) software reliability models. Nagaraju ‘s talk will present an implicit ECM algorithm, which eliminates computationally intensive integration from the update rules of the ECM algorithm, thereby achieving a speedup of between 200 and 400 times that of explicit ECM algorithms. The enhanced performance and stability of these algorithms will ultimately benefit the software.

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Faculty Candidate Briana Bettin to Present Lecture March 16

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Briana Bettin on Monday, March 16, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. The title of Bettin’s talk is, “Understanding and Enhancing Novice Mental Models of Computing.”

The lecture will be presented online through a Zoom meeting. Link here to join the Zoom meeting.

Bettin is a PhD candidate and King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellowship recipient in Michigan Tech’s Department of Computer Science. Her research blends user experience methodologies with education research to better understand programming students and the impacts of the classroom environment.

Bettin’s research interests span education, experiential design, and human factors. She has a B.S. in computer science from Michigan Tech and an M.S. in human-computer interaction from Iowa State University.

The need for computer science coursework has exploded worldwide, and now more than ever students need coding and problem solving skills for the future. Students in the computing classroom come from a variety of majors, and students within the major are increasingly diverse in background and career interests.

Bettin’s presentation explores how students acquire and understand programming concepts, and how their development of foundational knowledge can be better facilitated. Her talk discusses work from several studies exploring questions such as, How can we relate topical material to such a wide variety of students? How are they interpreting these concepts and retaining them? And How does the classroom environment impact our students’ learning? 

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Intel Online Workshop Is Monday, March 2

Intel has invited Michigan Tech students and faculty to join a 4-hour online workshop on Monday, March 2, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. EST. Intel will demonstrate a computer vision workflow using the OpenVINO toolkits, including support for deep learning algorithms that help accelerate Smart Video applications.

The workshop provides an opportunity to learn how to optimize and improve performance, with and without external accelerators, and utilize tools to help us identify the best hardware configuration for our needs.

When: Monday, March 2, March 2020 | 11 am (Houghton Time)

If interested, the event is free but registration is necessary https://iotevents.intel.com/VirtualWorkshop2020March2/

Agenda
20 Minutes – Intel Smart Video/Computer vision Tools Overview
20 Minutes – Model Optimizer
20 Minutes – Inference Engine
10 Minutes – Break
15 Minutes – Intel Movidius„ Inference Accelerator
15 Minutes – FPGA Inference Accelerator
10 Minutes – Register for access to DevCloud
90 Minutes – Labs on Intel DevCloud for the Edge

Who will benefit: Computer vision developers with a basic understanding of machine learning and deep learning techniques who would like to learn optimization and acceleration techniques for industrial, medical, smart city, and smart retail applications.

What’s to gain: Overview and application of Intel computer vision technologies.Understanding of deep learning development using a pre-trained model.7-day access to Intel Devcloud for the Edge, to continue training after the event.

Questions?

Contact Gowtham, PhD
Director of Research Computing, IT
Research Associate Professor, ECE
Michigan Technological University
P: (906) 487-4096
F: (906) 487-2787
g@mtu.edu
https://it.mtu.edu
https://hpc.mtu.edu


Frank Vahid to Present Seminar

This event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule sometime in the future.

The College of Computing is pleased to present a lecture by Dr. Frank Vahid on Canceled. Vahid’s talk, “Teaching lower-division CS/CE: Our improvement experiences and research results for physical and online courses,” relates the story of University of California Riverside (UCR) successful efforts to improve introductory CS courses over the past decade.

Vahid is a professor of computer science and engineering at UCR, and co-founder and chief learning officer of zyBooks.

Vahid’s research focuses on improving college-level CS/CE/STEM education, and embedded systems. He is the author of textbooks from Wiley, Pearson, and zyBooks on topics including C++, C, Java, data structures, digital design, computer organization, embedded systems, computing technology, and introductory math and algebra.

Many universities seek to improve introductory computer science courses, and to offer online courses. Dr. Vahid and his colleagues at UCR have had particular success introducing changes to their teaching methods.

Before improvements, UCR intro courses fell into the common U-shaped grade distribution with a high fail/withdraw rate. After introducing changes–including the replacement of textbooks with web-native interactive, animated content and questions–the grade distribution now looks like a rising staircase (with DFWs on the left and As on the right). Good student performance in subsequent courses and highly-positive course evaluations from both majors and non-majors were received at a school with high enrollments of low-income, first-generation, and minority students. 

Additional UCR course modifications include using the interactive content to encourage class preparation, reserving class time for extensive live coding of examples (with lots of mistakes made) and peer instruction; teaching the Coral language before C++, and switching from one-large-program each week to many small programs–enabled by auto-grading.

UCR started teaching online versions of CS1 and CS2 courses in 2013, making refinements over the years, such as synchronous online scheduled lectures and labs and extensive use of online chat. The modifications have led to students in online sections doing as well as students in physical sections, with equally high course evaluations (and many stating a preference for online). The model has been reproduced at other schools. 

In 2012, Vahid and his colleagues formed zyBooks, a company to provide scalable growth and continual professional improvement of UCR’s online content and platform. The zyBooks platform and content has grown to serve over 500,000 students at 600 universities in the U.S.

Vahid has received several teaching awards, including UCR Engineering’s Outstanding Teacher award and UCR’s Innovative Teaching award, both in 2017. In recent years, he has spoken about CS/CE education at over 50 universities across the country.

Vahid’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, (university and NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants), the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the U.S. Dept. of Education (university and SBIR grants), and companies including Google and Intel. He received his B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine.

Vahid has spoken at dozens of U.S. college of universities about UCR’s research, such as the following, in no particular order: Texas A&M, Univ. of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, Univ. of Florida, Univ. of Texas (Austin), UT San Antonio, Florida International Univ., Florida Atlantic Univ., Miami Univ., Miami Dade Community College, Drexel, Tufts, Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell, The College of New Jersey, Southern New Hampshire Univ., Univ. of Minnesota Twin Cities, Univ. of Minnesota Duluth, Michigan State Univ. Central Michigan Univ., Indiana State Univ., California State Univ. Northridge, California State Univ. Fresno, San Jose State Univ., Univ. of New Mexico, New Mexico State Univ., Univ of Alabama Birmingham, Univ. of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Lone Star College, UT Rio Grande Valley, Boston Univ., Rutgers, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Jacksonville State Univ., and more…   

“Plus many many dozens of virtual presentations. It’s been an absolute honor and privilege to visit each department and to meet each and every faculty member, and students too,” Vahid said.


Paid Research Assistant Position for Computationally-keen Grad Students

Sangyoon Han, assistant professor, Biomedical Engineering, is seeking applications for a funded research assistant position from computationally-keen graduate students who can program. Dr. Han’s research is in Computational Mechanobiology.

“We are seeking candidates with outstanding programming capability who are knowledgeable in particle tracking, inverse problem, vector field operation, machine learning, and deep learning. Masters and Ph.D. students in Data Science, Computer Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and related disciplines are encouraged to apply. This is a funded position.” (From the info sheet.)

Interested candidates are encouraged to send an e-mail to Dr. Han at sjhan@mtu.edu. Please include a brief statement of interest and CV. For more details, visit http://hanlab.biomed.mtu.edu.

Interested candidates are encouraged to send an e-mail to Dr. Han at sjhan@mtu.edu. Please include a brief statement of interest and CV. For more details, visit http://hanlab.biomed.mtu.edu.

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Tim Havens Quoted in Enterprisers Project Article

Tim Havens, associate dean for research, College of Computing, was quoted in the story “Artificial intelligence (AI) vs. natural language processing (NLP): What are the differences?” published February 26, 2020, in the online publication, The Enterprisers Project.

With AI, computers can learn to accomplish a task without ever being explicitly programmed to do so, says Timothy Havens, the William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems in the College of Computing at Michigan Technological University and director of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems.

For those who prefer analogies, Havens likens the way AI works to learning to ride a bike: “You don’t tell a child to move their left foot in a circle on the left pedal in the forward direction while moving your right foot in a circle… You give them a push and tell them to keep the bike upright and pointed forward: the overall objective. They fall a few times, honing their skills each time they fail. That’s AI in a nutshell.”

The Enterprisers Project is a community and online publication built to discuss the evolving role of the CIO and how IT leaders drive business value in a digital world. It is a collaborative effort between Harvard Business Review and Red Hat that delivers daily analysis and advice on topics ranging from emerging technologies to IT talent. Articles in the publication are written by CIOs, for CIOs and other IT executives, who share lessons learned from innovating in true partnership with the business. 


Capture the Flag Competition Incredibly Successful

The Capture the Flag competition at this year’s Winter Wonderhack, held the weekend of February 21-23, was incredibly successful, with a total of 35 students competing on 15 different teams.

The three top teams finished with 100% completion after 10+ hours of hard work, and the fourth place team was close behind with only two flags left. The entire competition was very competitive, with the top four teams constantly exchanging places throughout the weekend.

Winning teams:

First Place (Hak5 WiFi Pineapple and Manual) – Real Pineapple:
Eli Brockert, Cybersecurity, sophomore
Matthew Chau, Cybersecurity, freshman
Nathan Wichers, EE, freshman

Second Place  (Hak5 Packet Squirrel and Manual) – College Nerd Seeking Assets
Justin Bilan, CNSA, junior
Stuart Hoxie, CNSA, junior
Ben Kangas , CNSA, junior
Austin Clark, CNSA, junior
Nicklaus Finetti, CNSA, senior

Third Place (Hak5 USB Rubber Ducky and Manual)  – The Blue Tigers 21
Austin Doorlag, CS, sophomore
Harley Merkaj, CS, sophomore
Anthony Viola, CpE, sophomore

Fourth Place (Hak5 Sticker Packs and USB Rubber Ducky Manual)  – Fsociety
Sam Breuer, CpE, freshman
John Claassen, CS, sophomore
Samantha Christie, CS, freshman

All participants in the Capture the Flag Competition, February 21-23, 2020

Michigan Tech is #2 on WXYZ List of Highest-paid Grads

Michigan Tech is #2 on list of highest-paid grads in Michigan published recently by WXYZ Detroit (ABC-TV). The ratings are based on data from Payscale.com.

For Michigan Tech grads, the midpoint for early career salaries is $65,000 (five or fewer years on the job), and the midpoint for seasoned pros is more than $116,000 (10 years on the job). No school in Michigan awards a higher percentage of science, technology and engineering degrees that Michigan Tech.

Other schools on the list were Albion College (#7), University of Michigan Dearborn ( #6 ), Michigan State University (#5), Lawrence Technological University (#4), University of Michigan (#3), and Kettering University (#1). View the full story here.


Leidos Gift Equips EET, MET Lab with State-of-the-Art Learning Tools

Leidos representatives Matthew Luttinen, Jessica Hutchings, Kate Nowosad, Dale Rimmey, and Mike Cooney

It was five years ago, in 2015, when Leidos and Michigan Tech representatives started talking about equipping the Electrical Machinery and Controls Lab with new Amatrol learning stations.

It took some time, but in 2018 a generous gift from Leidos got things started. The lab space–on the 4th floor of the Electrical Energy Resources Center (EERC)–was expanded and refurbished, the electrical was upgraded, and the cost of the new work stations was considered.

“It wasn’t enough to do all we wanted to do,” said Dale Rimmey, director of college talent acquisition and solutions at Leidos, “so we talked some more, and eventually we were pleased to double our original gift.”

“This lab was a long time coming, and along the way we developed some great relationships with our industry partners,” said Adrienne Minerick, dean of the College of Computing. “Everything came together because Leidos and Eagle Mine believe in the quality of Michigan Tech education, and because an investment in qualified people assures a great future for our students and for all concerned.”

With the second Leidos gift in 2019, the EET and MET programs were able to complete the lab refurbishment and install six new state-of-the art learning stations in time for the fall 2019 section of Electrical Machinery (EET 2233).

Four of the learning stations and lab renovations were funded by Leidos, one station was funded by Eagle Mine, and one was purchased by the former Michigan Tech School of Technology.

This week, Leidos representatives were on campus to celebrate the completion of the Leidos Electrical Machinery and Controls Lab, and to participate in Career Fair. Leidos representatives attending were Dale Rimmey; Mike Cooney ’01 (BS, EET), project lead; Jessica Hutchings ’15 (BS, EE), controls engineer; Matthew Luttinen ’10 (MS, EE/Power Systems), electrical engineer; Kate Nowosad, ’17 (BS, EE), substation design engineer.

More than anything, Dale Rimmey is excited for the students who will benefit from the gift. “This is a great opportunity to support Michigan Tech students and at the same time build a larger pool of talented, well-trained future employees for Leidos and the industry as a whole,” he said.

Required for all EET and MET students, EET 2233 is a crucial building block in the study of electrical and mechanical engineering and mechatronics.

“In mechatronics, students learn to appreciate the electrical, mechanical and computing side of hardware equipment,” said assistant professor Nathir Rawashdeh, CMH Division. “Selecting and controlling electrical machines are prime examples of this, and the new learning units and exercises provide all the tools students need to thoroughly understand these subjects.”

Michigan Tech students and Leidos reps

Students in last fall’s section of the class were the first to use the new learning stations, thanks to EET senior Zarek Pirkola and his fellow lab assistants, who assembled and tested the machines in time for the second half of the fall 2019 semester.

The new equipment also led to revisions in the hands-on lab exercises that accompany the Electrical Machinery course; units related to emerging topics, motor control, and troubleshooting were added.

“It was a race against time to get the machines ready for the eight-week motors unit last fall,” Pirkola said, adding that the curricula included with the units helped a lot. Pirkola was among the last students to use the old lab and equipment.

“The new equipment and curricula broaden the scope of laboratory exercises, and allow us to cover the more advanced control circuits used in operating larger electrical machinery,” said Alex Sergeyev, CMH Division professor and director of the Mechatronics graduate program.

“The knowledge and experience students gain means better-educated graduates with more practical hands-on experience,” said Sergeyev. “The design, configuration, and troubleshooting of industrial control systems is central to today’s industry, and the new Amatrol work stations are key to building the foundational knowledge future leaders in the field will need … with obvious benefits to employers of our graduates.”

Before the new Leidos lab was outfitted, EET 2233 student exercises were conducted on outdated, unreliable equipment, noted lecturer Paniz Hazaveh, College of Computing. The new units are more compact and they’re equipped with a number of safety features, including lower voltage and an emergency shut off, she explained.

With an average of 45 students enrolling in EET 2233 each fall semester, there is more to be done. Leidos has already started the wheels turning for a third gift to purchase additional units, and now there is plenty of space in the new lab.

Also among those attending the celebration were Adrienne Minerick, dean, College of Computing; Dan Fuhrmann, chair of the CMH Division; Nathir Rawashdeh, assistant professor, CMH Division; Rick Berkey, professor of practice, Pavlis Honors College; Jim Desrocher, director of advancement; Cody Kangas, director of industry engagement; and a number of graduate and undergrad students.

Nathir Rawashdeh demonstrates the learning unit

About the Partners

Serving the business intelligence, health, IT, defense, and civil sectors and with more than 400 locations in 30 countries, Leidos is a global leader in the integration and application of information technology, engineering, and science.

Amatrol designs, develops and manufactures technical training systems and simulators for industry and academia to teach technical and workplace skills ranging from entry level basic technical skills to advanced technology troubleshooting for degree and certification preparation.

Amatrol’s Basic Electrical Machines Learning System teaches electric machines commonly found in industrial, commercial, and residential applications: single phase AC motors, three-phase AC electric motors, and DC electric motors. Learners practice industry-relevant skills including operation, installation, analyzing performance, industrial motor wiring, and selecting electric machines for various applications.

Eagle Mine, a subsidiary of Lundin Mining, is an underground, high-grade nickel and copper mine located in western Marquette County of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Lundin Mining is a diversified base metals mining company with operations and projects around the world.

The Michigan Tech College of Computing prepares students for lifelong prosperity and employability through relevant, contemporary academic programs in computing and cyber-technologies. The College offers graduate degrees in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Health Informatics, and Mechatronics; and undergraduate degrees in Computer Network System Administration (CNSA), Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering Technology (EET), and Software Engineering.

The College of Computing’s CMH Division–Computer Network and System Administration/Mechatronics, Electrical, and Robotics Engineering Technology/Health Informatics Division–brings together faculty and programs in the College of Computing that share a common interest in applied aspects of computing.  The areas of study within the Division–computer networks, cybersecurity, robotics, big data–provide Michigan Tech graduates skills that are in high demand, now and in the future.

Enjoy the photo gallery below.

(L to R) Adrienne Minerick, Paniz Hazaveh, Dan Fuhrmann, Mike Cooney, Nathir Rawashdeh, Zarek Pirkola

Leidos representatives Jessica Hitchungs, Dale Rimmey, and Mike Cooney

Leidos representatives Matthew Luttinen, Jessica Hitchungs, Kate Nowosad, Dale Rimmey, and Mike Cooney

Nathir Rawashdeh demonstrates the learning system

Amatrol Basic Electrical Machines Learning System

Amatrol Basic Electrical Machines Learning System

Dan Fuhrmann (L) and Nathir Rawashdeh

Celebration attendees

Nathir Rawashdeh demonstrates the Amatrol learning system

Nathir Rawashdeh demonstrates the Amatrol learning system

Nathir Rawashdeh demonstrates the Amatrol learning system

Nathir Rawashdeh demonstrates the Amatrol learning system

Nathir Rawashdeh demonstrates the Amatrol learning system

Nathir Rawashdeh demonstrates the Amatrol learning system

Amatrol Basic Electrical Machines Learning System

Amatrol Basic Electrical Machines Learning System

Amatrol Basic Electrical Machines Learning System

Amatrol Basic Electrical Machines Learning System

Zarek Pirkola